"USA Gymnastics is blessed with many talented athletes and coaches who have achieved great success over the years," said USA Gymnastics Chairman Peter Vidmar. "Our goal is to share this expertise with countries that are working to develop the sport of gymnastics, athletes and coaches, and can use a little boost in getting to the next level."
The focus of the Global Ambassador program is to send elite athletes and coaches to countries defined as "developing countries" in various gymnastics disciplines. Developing countries are those that are not yet competing in the World Championships on a frequent basis and/or those that could use help promoting the sport to achieve more awareness and growth.
USA Gymnastics and the USOC will work together to fund the air travel and honorariums for the designated ambassadors, and the host countries will be responsible for providing local transportation and housing. USA Gymnastics will work closely with the FIG to identify the appropriate countries and administer the program.
"This is a perfect example of how countries can share their expertise in the interest of global development," commented FIG President Bruno Grandi. "The FIG is grateful for USA Gymnastics' leadership with this program, and we look forward to the impact it can have around the world."
USA Gymnastics and the FIG will identify qualified countries annually in the years 2013-15, with specific criteria and information on the request process available to the countries beginning in January 2013.
The FIG is the governing body for gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international sports federation and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs seven disciplines: gymnastics for all, men's artistic, women's artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, aerobic and acrobatic. It counts 130 national affiliated federations and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, host city of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).